New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has demanded the deployment of central forces in West Bengal ahead of state Assembly elections this year. Bengal’s BJP chief Dilip Ghosh on Thursday urged the Election Commission of India (ECI) to deploy central forces “at the earliest” claiming a “sense of fear” among the people. Also Read - PM Modi Discusses Production Linked Incentive Scheme With India Inc | Key Points

A political spit-spat broke out in West Bengal on Thursday between the ruling Trinamool Congress and the saffron party after the Mamata government alleged that the saffron party manipulated the Border Security Forces (BSF) to threaten people in the border areas to cast their votes in favour of “a particular political party”. Also Read - West Bengal Election 2021: High-voltage Polls to be Witnessed in Nandigram as Suvendu Adhikari Likely to Battle Mamata Banerjee on WB Seat

“BJP is sending BSF to villages in border areas in West Bengal and terrorising people to vote for them, this is my allegation. Election Commission said we will cross-check it,” said TMC leader Firhad Hakim. Also Read - West Bengal Election 2021: BJP Likely to Release First List of Candidates With 60 Names Soon

The BSF has denied these claims asserting that it “is an apolitical force”.

The full bench of the ECI, led by Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, had arrived in the state on Wednesday evening on a two-day visit ahead of the assembly polls, the dates of which are yet to be announced.

“We have received inputs that officers of the paramilitary force are visiting various villages and asking people to cast their votes in favour of a particular political party. This is a dangerous situation and the ECI must look into it,” TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee told reporters after meeting the ECI delegation.

PM Modi to Visit Bengal

Notably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office on Thursday announced he will be visiting the capital city of Kolkata on January 23 to commemorate 125th birth anniversary year of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The prime minister’s visit ahead of the crucial state elections ring bells of the BJP’s aggression into Bengal’s politics as they try to overthrow the current TMC-ruled government.

PM Modi will also visit Jerenga Pathar in Sivasagar, Assam, to distribute 1.06 lakh land pattas/allotment certificates.